Broadband: More than a municipal pipedream?
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray shouted his Internet dreams from the rooftops — or at least his mayoral blog — Wednesday morning with a post about his plans for broadband in the city.
The mayor made it clear that he would not stand for the status quo (insufficient connectivity, too-high prices) and laid out some options for improvement. Short-term, those looked like neighborhood pilot programs and policy changes that would make it easier and cheaper for broadband providers to expand service. Long-term, he alluded to city-owned infrastructure, leased cheaply to providers. (A concession, he stressed, would come with requirements for significant service improvements.)
He even touched on, though less convincingly, a city-owned broadband network. "If we find that building our own municipal broadband is the best way forward for our citizens and our city," Murray wrote, "then I will help lead the way." Tech analyst and Crosscut writer Mark Anderson will have more on the importance of city-owned broadband tonight. — B.A.
Discovery Park for sale (only some homes)
A real-estate development company says it may have a buyer for 21 classy former Navy homes in Discovery Park that have provoked bitter fights for years, at least back to Mayor Greg Nickels' administration. The company, which owns the land and buildings, tells the Queen Anne & Magnolia News it can't reveal anything about who would take over, but paints eventual sale of the homes to individuals as a plus for maintaining historic structures. Presumably, people with good incomes would be buying in a park. Friends of Discovery Park, though, to look into the future of the homes, saying the group is worried about individual landowners making changes, having disruptive parties and generally failing to fit into the park environment. The fight goes back to the Nickels administration — so it's becoming something of an Icelandic saga in terms of the city's relatively short history. — J.C.
Oso Mom: "Not letting that baby go"
Still being treated at Harborview for severe injuries suffered in the Oso mudslide, Amanda Skorjanc says that "I know God was with us" as she and her infant son, Duke, awaited rescue. In her first interview, reported Wednesday in The Herald and elsewhere, Skorjanc said she realized as she waited that it would take time for help to reach her and Duke. "I felt and heard and saw everything going on. I was not letting that baby go.” She expressed passionate gratitude for the support of her community and people across the country. Doctors expect her recovery from multiple injuries to stretch out a full year. Duke, too, remains hospitalized: He is in satisfactory condition at Seattle Children's. — J.C.
Waist bands of all sizes in Washington
Seattle Times’ “FYI Guy” Gene Balk reports that Washington state has cities that ranked in both the top five and bottom five nationally for obesity. Based on surveys of 189 metro areas, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index found that while Bellingham (sorry, Seattle, Tacoma and Bellevue) is one of the nation’s slimmest cities, while Yakima is one of the most obese. What’s worse: Yakima has the third-highest rate of uninsured individuals (30.4 percent). Among the nation's metropolitan areas of 1 million or more, Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue barely edged onto the list of slimmest in 10th place. One Washington city did in fact win a No. 1 spot. With a whopping 65.7 percent of adults regularly eating fruits and vegetables, Olympia came in first for healthful eating. …Go, Geoducks? — K.H.
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